Hey, at least the days are getting longer! Tomorrow will be 18 seconds longer than today. Is this a great universe or what?
It is zero now, heading down to minus six. My wood guy is still off visiting relatives. All the piñon’s gone, and I’m down to a small pile of aspen, oy. The old Ashley eats aspen like it was cotton candy (the piñon would be the hard taffy that cements your jaws together). Looks like it’s time to raid the little woodpile the landlord left when he died. It’s still stacked outside his apartment. I know he wouldn’t mind, but I’d better email his niece and let her know I’m taking a few armloads. You never know, she might come tromping through the snow after a long drive from Pennsylvania and need to build a fire.
Wow, it’s really winter. It’s hard to believe it’s only a few degrees above zero most mornings when I walk outside to feed the birds. All I usually have on are moccasins, sweatpants, and a fleece bathrobe. No hat, no gloves. I mean, it’s cold, obviously, but there usually isn’t any wind, the sun is coming up over the mountains, and everything is clean and still. It just feels okay, and I like the way the snow squeaks under my feet. Somehow it all sort of works, despite the cold, so long as that’s all I’m doing — wouldn’t do to get ambitious about working in the yard, for example. After a couple of weeks of this, 20 degrees feels downright balmy. That’s no exaggeration, either.
But the conditions kinda get to me at night. I’m plenty warm sitting here by the woodstove, but I’d rather have no fire and the windows open. It’s a claustrophobia thing, I think. A couple of months ago I spent some hours in a tipi way up on a mountain and found being closed in without windows pretty hard to handle. And now, here in this house, I’m surrounded by heavy adobe walls. It’s winter. It’s dark. I call this place “a cave with windows” because of the mud floors and all, but it really does turn into a cave when we pull the Mexican blankets across the glass.
At least the sun shines almost all the time. There’s almost never that heavy leaden sky I remember from places like Maryland and Iowa. It makes a huge difference.
But tomorrow it looks like it’ll be time to steal wood. We’re getting more snow, by the way, which makes me wonder about setting up a delivery, never mind that the same garbage truck that got stuck in the driveway last week will be here tomorrow too. Anyway, I think my guy’s in Española.
All is right with the world, then, for now.